Hunter Leisenring's family keeps tabs on Steven Kitts' legal problems

Arthur Cottle received an e-mail recently telling him the man who injured his grandson "is not the monster you make him out to be."

"That's got me pretty well steaming," Cottle said.

Cottle is aware that Steven Kitts, the Dover man who beat 2-year-old Hunter Leisenring into a coma and left him with life-threatening injuries in 2002, has encountered a new wave of legal problems.

Kitts, 30, is awaiting prosecution on charges of assaulting and harassing his ex-girlfriend, the mother of his daughter. He is accused of punching Tracy Roadcap in the face three times Jan. 7 .

Cottle said he tries to be in court every time Kitts is. He still burns that Kitts received only eight months in prison for assaulting Hunter.

"He actually got no time for hurting Hunter," Cottle said. "That eight months he was in was for a parole violation for assaulting his girlfriend."

Free on $2,500 bail, Kitts is scheduled for arraignment May 17 on aggravated and simple assault charges.

The morning Hunter was injured, Kitts told police he grabbed the boy -- who was the child of Kitts' then-girlfriend -- around 3 a.m. when the child's crying woke him up.

When police arrived at the Reservoir Drive home around 5:10 a.m., Hunter was unresponsive and unconscious. He was flown to a medical center.

The toddler had multiple skull and rib fractures and brain injury. He was on life support for several days.

Since then, Kitts has been frequently charged with harming Roadcap, according to court

Steven Kitts (Submitted)
Kitts pleaded guilty in March to summary charges of disorderly conduct and defiant trespass. He had beaten on Roadcap's front door "to the point they had to put a piece of wood across the door to secure it," according to the citation.

Kitts also has pending criminal charges of harassment for allegedly sending "lewd language and threats" to Roadcap and her boyfriend in April.

In the most recent assault filing, Newberry Township Police say Kitts arrived at Roadcap's Ridge Road home "and began to hit her as soon as he stepped into the door."

Kitts told police that he was mad about phone conversations he had with Roadcap that day and that he was "already fired up" when he got to her home.

"I hit Tracy a couple of times but did not mean to go that far," Kitts told police.

According to reports, Roadcap suffered a broken jaw, which required surgery. District Judge Scott Gross issued a no-contact order as part of Kitts' bail conditions.

Neither Kitts nor Roadcap could be reached for comment.

According to court records, Kitts "did successfully complete the Anger Management Education Group at The Colonial House" in July 2004.

"Obviously, it didn't work," Cottle said. "He ought to go to jail for good. We are following his actions in court continuously. We're all hoping he finally goes to jail for a long time.

"He's hurt a lot of people over the years, and he's been getting away with it time and time again."

In Hunter's case, Kitts was sentenced in 2003 to time served -- eight months -- to two years in prison for simple assault and to two years' probation for reckless endangerment.

In 2005, then-York County District Attorney Stan Rebert said Kitts received the "time served" sentence in exchange for his guilty plea because the prosecution had trouble establishing he was the sole cause of Hunter's injuries.

When Judge Michael J. Brillhart asked at sentencing, "Has the child recovered to your satisfaction?" defense attorney Harry Ness -- now a York County judge -- replied, "Yes, your honor."

"Judge Brillhart is an ass, and I sent him a letter telling him that," Cottle said. "I signed my name. . . .

"'Has the child recovered to your satisfaction?'" Cottle repeated with sarcasm. "You ought to meet Hunter to see if he has satisfactorily recovered."

Now 9, Hunter has an arm that does not function, a paralyzed left leg and severe learning disabilities.

"He still can't walk without help," Cottle said. "He still wears diapers at night and probably will the rest of his life.

"He's come a long way, but he'll be a cripple the rest of his life.

"This is a very dangerous man who has gone around hurting people. He's the scum of the Earth."

Previous charges

Prior to the latest charges involving his ex-girlfriend Tracy Roadcap, Steven Kitts pleaded guilty to:

  • summary charges of criminal mischief and harassment against Roadcap in 2004
  • summary criminal mischief against Roadcap in 2005
  • summary harassment against Roadcap in 2005

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